Pre-Production issues ruined what should have been a classic. The most popular black comic book hero in the 90’s and 00’s did not reside in Wakanda, fought off vampires or swore an oath to the Green Lantern Corps, he was a man who made a deal with the devil to be one of his solders as Spawn. Al Simmons was a pure badass a former Recon Marine who eventually went to the CIA and then to Black Ops. He eventually saw the corruption in his squad and called them out for it; leading to his eventual death. However, once making a deal with the devil to bring him back to life, Al returned as a disfigured man whose wife moved on after his “death.” Spawn eventually learned how to use his power for himself and took back the city he once loved. Where Blade proved to be a hit and saved the Comic Book Movie genre, Spawn had some issues. Granted this film had a lot to live up to, but it suffered through its own issues.
No Spawn film should be PG13 ever, EVER. This film had the ingredients of an R rated film, and the after the success of Blade this would have been the perfect time to strike again. Another huge issue was the casting. Michael Jai White was the right guy to play Spawn; I would say it was perfect casting. The rest of the cast, not so much. John Leguizamo plays the Violator, the main villain of the film is a demon who guide hell spawns. Leguizamo was horrible in this role. He was overbearing in most of his scenes and I was ready to fast forward through them. The rest of the cast added nothing to the film; Martin Sheen, Theresa Randle and D.B. Sweeny all could’ve been replaced and the film would not miss a beat. However, the biggest crime of the film was it’s CGI and good god it is awful.
The villain, Malebolgia (Basically the devil) looks horrible and is dubbed horribly. The DEVIL MOUTH IS WIDE OPEN EVERY SCENE HE IS IN…. yikes. Spawn’s suit CGI is great but the devil and the violator has some of the worst I’ve ever seen in a film. Re-watching this film, I know there would be problems like this but goodness this was bad.
What is sad is that I enjoyed this film growing up. This film did not age well and it had potential. Spawn is a property that is worth bringing to the big screen, but it needs the right team behind them. If anything, watch the HBO series, it is a million times better and is one of the best animated Cartoon series to date. I know there is plans for a possible reboot this year and I hope it gets done for the sake of Todd McFarlane and his series itself.